Amid Gyanvapi row, TV panellist jailed for ‘shivling’ tweet in J&K

On social media, the post sparked an uproar with users asking for his arrest. Before his arrest, the panellist took down the tweet

Waqar H Bhatti, a human rights activist and television panellist from Jammu and Kashmir’s border area of Rajouri, was detained by police in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday over allegations of offending religious sentiments of the Hindu community.

The allegations against the Jammu-based social activist came to the fore after his tweet about ‘Shivling’ on his Twitter handle.

The post sparked uproar soon after as the social media users started to demand his immediate arrest.

Activist tried to clarify but failed to evade detention

Before his arrest, however, the activist took down the controversial tweet and came up with a few tweets of clarification. As per Bhatti, he did not target any faith and there was no reason for the same as the matter was in court.

He made the comment in reference to the Gyanvapi mosque, which is claimed to be a mosque as per some Hindu petitioners.

The activist added that he never disrespected any religion and will never do so in his life because he has respect for every religion and its followers.

While commenting about the demand for his arrest by some users, Mr Bhatti tagged those people as politically motivated.

Waqar Bhatti jailed earlier as well

It is in place to mention here that Waqar Bhatti has been jailed a few times previously as well.

He was previously detained by authorities in Sunderbani area of J&K in August 2020 on the eve of one-year completion of the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile J&K state.

Outside the union territory, he was arrested by Madhya Pradesh police in July 2018 after filming a video at Gwalior railway station in which he challenged RSS supporters to meet him, stating that he would be in town for some days.

Country plunged into legal and religious chaos

Amid the Gyanvapi mosque row, the country has been plunged into legal and religious chaos once more. As is typically the case, this is followed by social, cultural, and, of course, political connotations in India.

On May 14, 15, and 16, a court-ordered videography inspection of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, which are next to Varanasi’s iconic Kashi Vishwanath Temple, was completed, and the report was presented on May 19.

The Hindu side stated that during the survey, a Shivling (a depiction of Lord Shiva) was discovered inside the mosque grounds. The Muslim side, on the other hand, denied the claim, asserting that the construction was part of the grand mosque’s wuzu khana (ablution portion).

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store